Strolling Bukchon Hanok Village, Insadong and Ikseon-dong

We still had half a day to enjoy Seoul before leaving with 17.15 flight back to Jakarta. We checked out Hotel after breakfast and hopped on to Taxi to take us to Bukchon Hanok Village.

We had 1 hour photo appointment with Frame a trip. I decided to splurge and hire Frame a trip instead of the usual tripod as we just celebrated 15 years together. The result didn’t disappoint and Rufus, our photographer was also very professional and friendly. The photo session was very efficient because our photographer knew the location on the back of his hand and also Bukchon Hanok Village on Sunday morning is very quiet.

Bukchon Hanok Village

It is a Korean traditional village in Seoul with a long history located on the top of a hill between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is composed of lots of alleys, Hanok and is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment.

If you want to get to Bukchon Hanok Village, it is close to Samcheong-dong street and located between the Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace. 

You can get to the Bukchon Hanok Village in Seoul by taking the subway to the Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3). Take exit 3 and head to your right. After about 200 meters you will see a large information sign that begins the Bukchon Village Walking Tour. Recently in 2018, because of so many tourists visiting the area they have changed the hours of when people may visit from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and Sundays is now closed to nonresidents. We were asked to be quiet at all times to respect the residents who lived there.

Insadong

Insadong Street, the beating heart of this neighbourhood, close to Anguk Station, boasts a lively atmosphere and eclectic shops to keep its visitor

busy. Soak up the sights, sounds and smells of this pedestrianised strip before dipping into the little alleyways that run off it, where you’ll find dozens of galleries and traditional shop. In fact it is the best place to shop for Korea. Gift such as Korean pendants and jewelleries, tea set, hanbok, name stamp, art supplies, korean rice cakes, handmade papers, paintings and pottery.

There are many tea houses and top-rated restaurants in the area. You can also visit Museum Kimchikan, to pay homage to one of the staples of Korean cuisine: kimchi.

Ikseon-dong

From Insadong we continue waking to Ikseon-dong. Ikseon-dong only recently started to become a trend as young artists and entrepreneurs began to open businesses like cafes, restaurants, and handicraft shops with unique concepts and designs.

We chose one cute cafe and had brunch before heading back to our Hotel.

To avoid traffic we took subway (finally). Subway is Korea is pretty straightforward: buy the ticket in the ticket machine and follow the route. There is english sign everywhere.

Incheon airport

There is hourly airport bus to take us to Incheon airport in front of our hotel in Gangnam. Journey time is 1-1.5 hours. We went early to airport because I have to claim Tax refund. The process turned out to be very efficient and fast. I checked in first and had my luggage tagged and then walked to the Tax refund area. There were friendly officer next to the machine who help us scanning our passport. From there I had my luggage checked before shipping back to the conveyor belt, then proceed to take the cash refund, which is again helped by the officer. This is definitely one of the most efficient Tax refund process I ever encountered.

There is also a praying room inside Seoul airport. However you need to do the ablution in the separate toilet and female need to bring their own praying robe because they only provide praying mat.

Good bye Seoul… I really enjoyed my short trip. I hope I can go back in autumn or during cherry blossom time.

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